Is The BMJ cover of the 12 May 2018 really representative of a GP waiting room?BMJ 2018; 361 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k2554 (Published 13 June 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k2554
All rapid responses
You are not alone and I quote:
"Of the many influences on how we view men and women, media are the most pervasive and one of the most powerful. Woven throughout our daily lives, media insinuate their messages into our consciousness at every turn. All forms of media communicate images of the sexes, many of which perpetuate unrealistic, stereotypical, and limiting perceptions." (1)
I would agree with the inference that the photograph in the front cover of the BMJ that you allude to denotes a mainstream male gaze. The sub-liminal message of the mini-skirts is that the doctor positing the question is male. It reinforces the stereotype that male doctors are the cultural standard; female doctors can venture into this macho world by an effort of will. The image conveys the further sexist stereotype of frivolous, needy female patients piling up in male doctors' reception rooms: "Time to cap the number of patients a GP sees each day?" It is the only male patient in the group who is being singled out for attention by a ?member of staff.
It would appear that getting women on to the senior editorial board of medical journals (2) might be a start but not enough to fight against sexism in the publishing world of medical academia. A more robust editorial policy on equality of representation would seem to be indicated, particularly now that women have, since last year, become the majority of the GP workforce (3).
1. Wood, Julia, "Gendered Media: The Influence of Media on Views of Gender," In: "Gendered Lives: Communication, Gender, and Culture" by Julie T. Wood, Chapter 9, pp. 231-244, 1994.
2. Jagsi, R, Tarbell, N., Henault L., et al. "The Representation of Women on the Editorial Boards of Major Medical Journals: A 35-Year Perspective", Arch Intern Med. 2008;168(5):544-548.
3. Bostock, N. "The rise of women in general practice," GP online, 8 March 2018, https://www.gponline.com/rise-women-general-practice/article/1458988.
Competing interests: No competing interests